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When working in layout view in ArcMap, graphic elements cannot be selected for editing or deleting. As shown in the following image, when attempting to select the shade awning layer represented by the dark rectangle using the Select Elements tool in layout view, the data frame is selected instead of the shade awning layer.
Graphic elements in layout view are not selectable because the data frame within the layout view is not in focused mode.
In layout view, focusing the active data frame allows users to work with features and elements in the data frame similar to working in data view. Users can create, delete, and edit features, graphics and text in a focused data frame.
When the data frame is focused, hashed border lines appear around the data frame as shown in the image below.
To focus the data frame, use one of the following options: